Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center

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Research at the Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center focuses on providing the scientific understanding and technologies needed to support and implement sound management and conservation of our Nation's biological resources occurring in Hawai'i and other Pacific island locations.

Spotlight on Research

Spotlight on Research

Learn more about how researchers are tracking how rare plants are responding to changing environmental conditions.

Plant Responses

Featured Scientist

Featured Scientist

PIERC Microbiologist Dr. Carter Atkinson is using new tools to detect emerging threats and rare species in Pacific Island ecosystems.

Atkinson Research

News

Date published: July 9, 2020

New Study Finds the Restoration of Forests with Active Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death Infections May Be Possible

Hilo, Hawaiʻi – For the first time, researchers have shown that native ʻōhiʻa seedlings can survive for at least a year in areas that have active mortality from Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death, or ROD, a fungal disease that is devastating to this dominant and culturally important tree in Hawaiian forests. This information can be useful to land managers and homeowners as they prioritize conservation actions.

Publications

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Year Published: 2021

Understanding grass invasion, fire severity, and Acacia koa regeneration for forest restoration in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park

With invasive grasses increasing wildfire occurrence worldwide, a better understanding of the relationships between native plants, fire, and invasive grass is needed to help restoration plans facilitate ecosystem resilience. Invasive grasses are particularly problematic for altering fire regimes in the tropics, yet in Hawaiʻi, restoration sites...

Natalia, Hamilton; Yelenik, Stephanie G.; Durboraw, Tara; Cox, Robert; Gill, Nathan S.

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Year Published: 2021

Hawai‘i forest review: Synthesizing the ecology, evolution, and conservation of a model system

As the most remote archipelago in the world, the Hawaiian Islands are home to a highly endemic and disharmonic biota that has fascinated biologists for centuries. Forests are the dominant terrestrial biome in Hawai‘i, spanning complex, heterogeneous climates across substrates that vary tremendously in age, soil structure, and nutrient availability...

Barton, Kasey; Westerband, Andrea; Ostertag, Rebecca; Stacy, Elizabeth; Winter, Kawika; Drake, Don; Fortini, Lucas; Litton, Creighton M; Cordell, Susan; Krushelnycky, Paul; Kawelo, Kapua; Feliciano, Kealoha; Bennett, Gordon; Knight, Tiffany

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Year Published: 2021

Distilling professional opinion to gauge vulnerability of Guam avifauna to Brown Treesnake predation

The avifauna of Guam was devastated by the introduction of the Brown Treesnake, and the restoration of native birds would need to address the problem with eradication or suppression of BTS. With eradication of the snake unlikely in the near term, and suppression capabilities limited to specific finite areas, key information for reintroductions is...

McElderry, Robert; Paxton, Eben H.; Nguyen, Andre; Siers, Shane R.